While it may seem obvious that taking a creative approach to marketing is a good idea, it's tough to step outside the norm and try untested tactics. The problem is that new ideas don't always work. Sometimes, though, they hit big -- and there lies the value in trying.
An Indirect Approach To Finding Customers
Microsoft Learning partner QuickStart Intelligence, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., trains IT professionals and developers on Microsoft technology. The bulk of QuickStart's business comes from Microsoft and partners, so it faces a common challenge for both training and ISV partners: How can it work cooperatively with partners to connect with end users? More
Posted by Barb Levisay on March 15, 2012 at 11:57 AM0 comments
If you are like most partners, you have accumulated a pretty decent contact list over the years. From seminars, referrals and networking you have collected quite a few names and e-mails.
Chances are, those contacts are all stored in the Access database you built in 2001 when you had some spare time on your hands. Or, you have them in Sales#@$%.com. Wow. Time to change that. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on March 08, 2012 at 11:57 AM0 comments
What happens when you combine fitness with business? According to The New York Times, it's called "sweatworking." It's a unique situation when win-loss is a good thing: Win more business while losing more inches.
More than Just Business Connections
When Matt Fenton, president of Pittsburgh-based Oxford Solutions, suggested the idea of meeting with business associates at the gym, Bruce Nelson knew he had found a solution. Nelson, president of Vertical Solutions, also based in Pittsburgh, had been looking for a way to combine his interest in fitness with building business connections. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on March 01, 2012 at 11:57 AM0 comments
You've worked hard to meet the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) competency requirements to support your partnership with Microsoft. Most of your customers are committed to Microsoft, as well, but don't have your inside view. Share your insight to build trust and add value to their business.
Be a Filter
Every week, you receive multiple e-mails from Microsoft intended to help you navigate partner training, product development news and marketing support. While much of the information is only applicable to partners, there is plenty that would interest your customers. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on February 23, 2012 at 11:57 AM0 comments
It can be disheartening to think about the e-mail you crafted so carefully being completely ignored or deleted by 90 percent of the recipients. On average, your prospects have to sort through and choose to open or delete over 100 e-mails each day. How can you help push that open rate up to get a few more eyes on the important message that you are sending?
Not Everyone Thinks Technology Is Cool
The first step, often repeated in this blog, is to stand in the shoes of your prospect. You need to think about how you can help them from their perspective, not yours. Yes, there are technology geeks out there who want to read about every new technology. These are not most of your prospects. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on February 16, 2012 at 11:57 AM1 comments
Everyone likes to share their expertise and knowledge with others. Your consulting team has a depth of knowledge that brings value to your customers every day -- but usually only one at a time. How can you tap into all that knowledge, take it to a larger audience and build business?
The Right Motivation
Your consultants are probably rewarded for maximizing billable time. If you want them to contribute to the business development effort, you have to offer motivation without penalty. It is surprising how often this seemingly obvious point gets missed. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on February 08, 2012 at 11:57 AM1 comments
A picture is worth...well, you know the rest. Pictures and graphics really can help you explain more in fewer words. When you think about the complexity of the technology solutions and systems that you are selling, it becomes even more important to consider ways to illustrate your message. The point of adding a graphic to any document should be to simplify the concept to help the reader "get it."
When you are trying to explain a concept or feature, think about how you might turn that into a graphic to make your point. There are plenty of tools at your disposal to create clarifying illustrations for your Web site, blogs and marketing literature. Here are some examples: More
Posted by Barb Levisay on February 02, 2012 at 11:57 AM0 comments
While there are currently only 14 Microsoft stores open around the country, the company plans to open 75 over the next couple of years. If you are lucky enough to have one in your backyard, it's the perfect place to hold a client event with style.
Cloudy with a Chance of Sales in Atlanta
Located in Woodstock, Ga., just north of Atlanta, RoseBud Technologies has held five events since the Atlanta Microsoft retail store opened in May 2011. While all the events were successful, according to Greg Wartes, director of marketing for RoseBud, the Nov. 9 event was over the top. Co-hosted by Microsoft, November's cloud services-focused event attracted over 200 registrations with approximately 150 attending. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on January 26, 2012 at 11:57 AM0 comments
The Dynamics marketing team recently launched the much-anticipated "U.S. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Services Bureau" (MSB). The site, located on the Dynamics partner portal PartnerSource, is a unique listing of marketing services delivered by Microsoft-approved vendors. The variety and depth of services -- as well as the accompanying 46-page MSB Guide -- is impressive.
Strategy to Execution More
Thirteen vendors with experience servicing the Dynamics partner community offer up everything from strategy session to sales leads. The MSB Web site is divided into three sections, including:
Posted by Barb Levisay on January 23, 2012 at 11:57 AM1 comments
E-mail remains at the top of the list for effectiveness for business-to-business marketers with high return on investment. According to a 2011 Forrester Research report, promotional e-mails are getting a better reception from consumers than they were in the past. But even with these star qualities, your e-mail can't do the job alone.
Here are four pointers to keep in mind to make the most of your promotional e-mails: More
Posted by Barb Levisay on January 12, 2012 at 11:57 AM0 comments